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Human female character blocking with a shield
All possible procedural shield appearances. Top row: Common Small. Middle row: Common Large. Bottom row: Uncommon.

Shields are an item in Starbound that allows the player to defend against attacks. This action is called blocking.

All shields are found randomly in chests or dropped by NPCs, except for the Basic Shield which can be crafted at an Anvil (the Basic Shield can still be found in Glitch Dungeon Crawlers, though).

Shield Mechanics

There are many hidden things about shields:

  • Shields regenerate 20% of their max health every second.
    • However, if they absorb a hit, shield health regeneration is interrupted for 2 seconds.
    • Shields cannot be raised if shield health is not positive, so regeneration block duration, rather than cooldown duration, determines how long a shield stays unusable when broken.
  • When a shield is raised, it gains perfect block for the first 0.2 seconds, indicated by the shield turning white.
    • If an attack hits the shield while perfect block is active, the attack is absorbed without damaging the shield, and the remaining duration of perfect block is refreshed to 0.2 seconds.
    • Perfect block can be active for at most 1 second - beyond this time, the shield will take damage from attacks.
    • Perfect block max duration regenerates at 50% of max duration per second - that is, you must lower your shield for at least 2 seconds in order to be able to perfect-block for 1 second again.
  • When a shield is raised, it stays up for a minimum time of 0.2 seconds before it can be lowered.
  • Raised shields generally have a knockback power of 10 (weak knockback) which is inflicted on enemies that touch them.

Procedurally Generated Shields

Many found shields are randomly generated with names constructed via a selection of prefixes and suffixes. They have a range of appearance based on the shield type. They can be found as either small or large shields, which are either wooden or metal.

  • Large shields, with a tier 1 base health of 35, can block more damage at a time before breaking, but possess a cooldown of 0.7 seconds that triggers when the shield is lowered.
  • Small shields only have a cooldown of 0.5 seconds on lowering; however, they have a tier 1 base health of 25.

Shields gain an additional 10% of their tier 1 health for each tier above tier 1.

  • At tiers 1/2/3/4/5/6, large shields have 35/39/42/46/49/53 health.
  • At tiers 1/2/3/4/5/6, small shields have 25/28/30/33/35/38 health.

Currently all procedural shields are of common rarity.

Premade Shields

Premade shields have a set amount of base health and a fixed appearance, though unlike most unique items, their level is (generally) variable rather than fixed - a version of the shield found on a high-Tier Planet will have more health than a different version of the shield found on a low-tier planet.

They can be found in specific locations and, apart from the Basic Shield, do not share an appearance with procedurally generated shields.